The Magic of a New Year

by Sarah Gurvis, Administrative Assistant 

jdateEvery year, as I’m sure most people do, I look forward to January 1st. There seems to be something magical about the beginning of a new year that we all seem to believe in. It’s the reason that New Year’s Eve is such a big deal with parties, and champagne, and midnight kisses. It’s why we make New Year’s resolutions to do better, be better, or do more. That day holds so much hope and promise for everyone, but why?

If my New Year’s resolution was to go running everyday, or to eat more vegetables, why should I wait for January 1st to implement those changes in my life? I also get confused when people claim that they will do whatever is they want to do “in 2013.” Does that mean that you get to stop these changes come January 1st, 2014? The skeptic in me also never really believes that anyone holds true to their resolution for more than a week, never having done so myself. 

Although I’m clearly a little cynical when it comes to resolutions, I think the idea of mikveh can help us understand why it’s something we all cling to at the beginning of each new year. When someone comes to Mayyim Hayyim to immerse, for whatever reason, they are cleansing themselves spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and even physically. When you step out of the water, you are refreshed, and renewed. I think this is pretty much what we all experience each year on January 1st. In a metaphorical sense, we each go through a similar process to that of immersion.  We each give ourselves a clean slate, a new beginning, a chance to finally be all that we want to be, and that, I believe, is where the magic lies. 

So, like everyone else, I’m waiting until January 1st to set my resolutions into place, and start making those changes in my life, and experience my metaphorical immersion, and perhaps an actual immersion (my first) will follow soon after. 

Happy New Year!

Sarah Gurvis, Administrative Assistant, helps to schedule immersions and volunteer mikveh guides, assists with management of the blog, and provides other general office support. Sarah graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in May of 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Judaic Studies. Sarah worked at Temple Shalom of Newton ’s Hebrew school for 8 years as an assistant teacher, tutor, and substitute teacher. Sarah’s passion for Jewish Education stems from her 13 summers spent at URJ Eisner Camp as a camper, counselor, and unit head.


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